I received my Pimax 8K X this week. I was previously using a Pimax 5K + with an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti. My recent favorite game is Dirt Rally 2.0. I’ve got a SimXperience GS-5 G-Seat and AccuForce wheel. The GS-5 looks like a racing bucket seat. I have an ipd of about 67 mm. I wear glasses. I use Large field of view. I used Pitool v126.96.36.1990.
Adjust game settings for the HMD refresh rate and resolution
What I do is set the Render Quality. For the 5K+, if the game was not too demanding, I used 1.75 or 1.5. The high resolution helped keep the image sharp. For the 8K X, I set it lower, maybe 1 or 1.25. I disable PP if the game does not need it. I open the SteamVR Settings and I enable the developer option called “Show GPU Performance in Headset”. That shows the frames timing while in game. You need to keep the bars below the line to avoid dipping under the refresh rate. After that, I adjust the game settings to get the best image quality while keeping the bars under the line.
At the resolution and refresh rate that I use, an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti is not quite powerful enough. In Dirt Rally 2.0, I have to lower some settings to keep it smooth.
If I have to lower the settings too much and it’s not good looking anymore, I quit the game, lower the render quality, fire up the game again and tune the settings again. Once that done, the developer option can be disabled.
I’d love to upgrade to a RTX 3080 or 3090 but it’s not going to happen in the short term because I’d also like to upgrade the pc at the same time and it’s going to be costly.
At the same viewing distance, I’d say text straight ahead seems to be slightly easier to read on the 8K X. On the 5K+, the SDE was slightly visible if you looked for it by panning your head slowly. On the 8K X, in regular use I don’t see the SDE. There’s still some but it’s very hard to see. I’m very pleased about that.
Bluriness in peripheral vision
On the 8K X, I noticed that if I close an eye and move the other eye toward my peripheral vision, the image gets blurry. I reconnected my 5K+ to see if it does the same thing. I never noticed before it did look slightly blurry in the peripheral vision in the 5K+. However, I think that it’s different. In the 5K+, past a certain angle, the image looks slightly blurry but it has the same bluriness for the whole peripheral vision. In the 8K X, it seems to start slightly blurry past a certain angle but as you go further toward the outside it gets even more blurry. If you close an eye, look at a specific object with the other eye and rotate you head until you eye reaches the limit of the peripheral vision, the image seems to compress. I did not get that type of distortion on the 5K+. While playing a game such as Dirt Rally 2.0, it does not matter if the peripheral vision is slightly blurry as the peripheral vision moves fast and is only there to improve immersion and to see if another car is beside you.
I just want to end by saying that it’s really not an issue. In every day life, you just move your eyes about 45 degrees toward the side because further than that you loose the visual from the other eye and it’s just not comfortable. Past those 45 degrees you turn your head so real life is usually blurry past the 45 degrees to the side. I also wear glasses so past 45 degrees, it’s out of the glasses.
The brightness and contrast settings in Pitool are a nice addition. I feel like the color quality is similar to 5K+ and could be better. Maybe the colors just need to be calibrated or it’s the limits of LCD technology. On pc, you can use a device that measures the brightness to calibrate your colors. It’s harder to do on an HMD once the lenses are installed. It would be nice if the HMD displays were calibrated during production and delivered already calibrated.
Similar to the 5K+, the lenses are very close to your eyes. I don’t really recommend to play with glasses but I sometime do it. I try to use contact lenses if possible. I might invest in adding prescription inserts. As a warning, I did scratch my glasses and my 5K+ lenses in the past one time when I was not careful enough. It’s a costly mistake.
I don’t like it and it seems hard to remove. It seems to be installed under the face cowling and I’m not sure but it looks like there might be some glue. I have a few reasons. It stabs on the skin near the eyes and that’s not comfortable. I like to be able to see through the nose gap when I’m looking for my keyboard or mouse or want to see where I am in my playspace.It does not work well with glasses.
New Head Strap design
I like the new head strap design but I feel like it should go slightly lower to place the padding under the bone bump behind the head. The locking at the lowest position seems like a good idea because it allows you to angle the HMD slightly, tighten it there and remove pressure on the cheek bones.
The new design for the face cowling and padding does not fit my head shape well. The 5K+ distributes the weight evenly all around. The 8K+ seems wider. The pressure is concentrated in the middle and there’s a gap on the sides. Maybe it just needs some modified padding to have a slightly thicker padding on the sides.
Head Strap and using a bucket seat
As I said, I play racing games while sitting in a bucket seat. The back of the head strap with the knob and cushioning is too thick. It pushes my head forward while sitting. What I did was take the head strap and hinges of the 5K+ and install them on the 8K X. I had to remove the plastic cowl on the 5K+ to remove the hinges. On the 8K X, the hinges can be removed with a screwdriver. It’s a bit front heavy but it’s not too bad as long as it’s tight enough and low enough at the back of the head.
It’s an upgrade over my 5K+ and I like it. It’s going to get even better with the newer video cards that are starting to come out.